Rachelle Pinkerton still remembers the fear and helplessness she felt in her abusive marriage. She said she worried for her and her daughter's safety and was constantly looking for a way out.
Pinkerton eventually found herself Denton County's Friends of the Family, an organization dedicated to helping victims of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Now, Pinkerson is the merchandise coordinator for Upscale Resale, Denton's newest thrift shop that benefits programs for domestic violence victims.
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She is passionate about the concept of taking others' used, sometimes-forgotten items and turning them into pieces "somebody gets to love."
Upscale Resale, which is run by the Denton's Friends of the Family, recently held its grand opening. The store relies on donationas and sale revenue to help fund the agency's domestic violence programs, which include counseling, legal advice and transitional housing.
Last month about 190 new victims sought help, a huge spike from recent years. Toni Johnson-Simpson, executive director of Denton's Friends of the Family, attributes the uptick to the county's growing population and the national #MeToo movement.
"I think the discussion opens the door for victims who've been in the midst of abusive situations to know that it's okay to seek help," Johnson-Simpson said.
When Pinkerton isn't at the Upscale Resale, she works for the agency as a mentor survivors of domestic abuse.
"After everything that I went through, I feel like I really deserve it," she said of working at the thrift shop. "I really deserve to love what I do."